Sprawled along the pristine Gulf Coast, Sarasota embodies a picturesque Florida beach town with white sand, azure waves and ever-present sun.
But there’s more to explore in Sarasota beyond the beach towel. To make the most of your trip, follow our tips.
The best time to visit Sarasota
Since Florida is a warm-weather destination, there’s really no bad time to visit Sarasota — just be aware that hurricane season runs from June to November. If you decide to go during that time, be prepared and pay attention to the weather reports.
The peak season for the northern half of the state tends to be the hot summer, while the southern part of Florida sees most of its crowds in the winter. Travel to Florida during the fall and you’ll avoid the blazing heat and most of the tourists will have gone home by then.
Should visitors rent a car in Sarasota?
If you plan on spending your trip lounging on the beach, you could probably go without your own personal vehicle and just grab a taxi, Lyft or Uber to head out to dinner or for a shopping trip to St. Armands. Many of the city’s hotels are within walking distance of a nice stretch of sand.
But if visiting the Ringling campus or the dozens of cultural sites and art museums around the city proper is more your style, then you’ll want to rent a car for your Sarasota getaway.
Taxi and ride-sharing fares can add up quickly, especially if you’re taking multiple trips a day.
What to pack for a trip to Sarasota
In this year-round beachfront locale, you’ll no doubt want to spend the majority of your Sarasota trip outdoors. Pack accordingly with light, loose tops, shorts, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to keep the hot Florida sun off your face. Comfortable shoes are must, especially if you’re planning on exploring the attractions around the city.
If you visit between October and March, just note that nights can get cool, so you’ll want to bring a sweater or a light jacket.
But no matter what time of year you plan to visit, be sure to pack your swimsuit and plenty of sunscreen.